UAE Labor Ban: A Comprehensive Guide

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What an employee needs to know about labor bans, its categories and other related matters.

When an employee violates the provisions of the UAE labor laws or the conditions of employment in his employment contract, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) issues a ban against the employee for 6 months or one year upon receiving such complaint from the employer. Meaning, that the person is prohibited from being employed in the UAE for such period. The enactment that broadly governs the labour laws in UAE is the UAE Labour Law No 8 of 1980.

Under what situations an employee may face labor ban?

MOHRE issues a labor ban on an employee when a request for the same is put forth by the employer, under any of the following conditions:

  • Non-fulfillment of a limited contract: A limited contract is where the employee is hired by the employer for a specific time and requires renewal each time it expires. It can only be terminated mid-way by the employee if the employee and the employer mutually agree to do so. The employer can request for a labor ban by sending an application to MOHRE for a period up to one year.
  • If the employee absconds from work for more than seven consecutive days without informing the employer.
  • If the employee resigns and refuses to serve notice period in contravention of Section 14 of the UAE Labor Law. Section 14 of the UAE Labor Law states that, unless the employer has failed to hold up his end of the contract or unless the employee was assaulted by the employer or his representatives, the employee shall serve his notice period after he resigns from his position.
What are the different kinds of labor bans?
  • 6 months ban: an expat employee can face a labor ban from The Ministry of Labor (MOL) if they leave a current job without any valid reason.
  • 1-year ban: Losing a case in any emirates of UAE against the employer, leaving a government job before completing the limited labor contract or violation of terms and conditions of the labor contract will put an employee at the risk of facing a 1-year labor ban.
Who faces the risk of labor ban?

Any employee who violates the provisions of the UAE Labor Laws faces the risk of a labor ban, whether skilled or unskilled except;

  • All UAE nationals
  • Expatriate workers moving into a government jobs will not be banned
  • Oil & Gas company employees may not be banned
  • Expat workers moving to another employer within the same free trade zone
  • Expatriates who have completed a fixed term contract, and have submitted proper resignation notice
  • Expatriates who have completed the one-year term of an unlimited contract and hold a NOC from the employer
  • Expatriates who have worked for a company for more than three years on unlimited contract
How does a labor ban affect my visa status?

A labor ban cancels the work permit / office sponsored visa of the employee, automatically cancelling the residency visa. However, people residing in the UAE under their spouse’s dependent visa can continue with their residency visa or proceed for a new labor card, if needed.

How can a labor ban be lifted?

An employee can have the 6 months ban lifted if they find a job in any free zone of United Arab Emirates or with any government department or if they continue to work outside the free zone, the cut-off of the salaries in the new contract shall be:

  • Above high school – AED 5000/- per month
  • Diploma holders – AED 7000/-per month
  • Bachelor’s degree holders – AED12000/- per month.

The employee can contest the labor ban by submitting his complaint to MOHRE, online or through the Tasheel centers, and attach all supporting documents which support his claims that he does not warrant a labor ban. MOHRE forms a committee which decides whether the ban was in fact justified or not.


The intention behind labor ban in UAE is that the violation of public policies must not be compromised i.e. breaking the terms and conditions of your labor contract or leaving your job without a valid reason. The ban is lifted automatically after the lapse of time specified and subsequently one is eligible to seek employment again.

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the details contained herein are correct and up-to-date, this information does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We do not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any error or omission.